From the July 2003 Idaho Observer:
How all the president's men have wrapped Americans in barbed wire
The Bush administration sold the U.S.-led war on Iraq to a skeptical world based upon claims that credible intelligence sources determined Saddam Hussein had stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. The Bush administration lied. As of this printing, the world is listening to various members of the Bush administration, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the intelligence communities in both nations as they attempt to shift the blame for this blatant act of aggression away from themselves. If the Bush administration knew Saddam had no WMD, yet used Saddam's WMD as a pretext for war against his country, then what, we must ask ourselves, was the real reason(s) for war in Iraq? The truth is found in tangible results: Continued occupation of a nation in the Middle East, expansion of the war into Africa and the permanent suspension of Americans' constitutionally-protected civil rights here at home. History will show that the Bush administration is building the U.S. Empire against the will of the rest of the world and at the expense of the American people.
The president and all his men
President George Bush, Jr: Before he had a chance to prove himself, we frontpaged a story under the headline, GW may be dumbest president in U.S. history (The IO, Feb., 2001). We were only half right. GW will leave behind a legacy much worse than that of a mere simpleton: He is the grandest puppet president of all time and his administration will likely be the one which deals the final blow to the American Dream. Under GW, merely a frontman for the gentlemen pictured below, Americans have become the taxed, regulated, poisoned, scrutinized subjects of an angry technotyranny. While Americans believe their wholesome, church-going president is making the world safe for democracy, the men below are carving the world up into corporately-controlled pieces.
Vice-president Dick Cheney: This man has been a player in global power politics since the mid-70s. He was the Secretary of Defense during Gulf War I and has extremely close ties to the oil, chemical and pharmaceutical industries. He is a close friend of the president's father and, though rarely seen in public since the war on terrorism was declared, has to be considered a chief architect of the U.S.-inspired era of global unrest. Cheney was CEO of Halliburton which, in a closed bid, was granted hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts for the reconstruction of Iraq. Cheney could be called the general contractor who helps demolish nations and then arranges for his friends to make $billions in the rebuilding process.
Secretary of State Colin Powell: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during Gulf War I, Secretary Powell is the nation's top diplomatic envoy. He is the man in charge of foreign relations. Though foreign relations are increasingly strained; though the nations of the world are demanding the U.S. form and implement a sound diplomatic strategy right now; though the secretary of state should be one of the most visible representatives of the Bush administration, he hardly ever seems to be present. Where is he and what is he doing? Is Colin Powell the Bush administration errand boy, going from place to place under the cover of media darkness making dubious deals with foreign leaders and the monied interests who finance them? The secretary of state is the voice of U.S. diplomatic intentions. Are foreign nations happy with U.S. diplomatic intentions?
Secretary of Defense Ronald Rumsfeld: This former corporate CEO also did a short stint as Secretary of Defense under President Gerald Ford. After leaving that powerful post, he took the helm of the Searle Corp. to muscle government approval for aspartame as an artificial sweetener. Had science rather than Rumsfeld politics been the deciding factor, aspartame would never have been approved for human consumption and would have remained confined to use as a pesticide. Because of Rumsfeld, a large percentage of Americans are suffering from a wide spectrum of chronic illnesses which have been associated with aspartame poisoning. Rumsfeld shows similar disregard for the innocent civilians of foreign nations by bombing their countries with radioactive depleted uranium-coated munitions, allegedly to punish terrorists he helped to supply with WMD in the 80s.
Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge: At the request of the Bush administration he left his job as governor of Pennsylvania to be the first director of a new, presidentially-decreed (not congressionally-authorized) agency called the Department of Homeland Security. This department, allegedly created to protect Americans against terrorists, has been compared to a technologically advanced version of Hitler's Gestapo. This agency publicly states the objective of total information awareness and is aggressively networking databases creating birth-to-death dossiers on every American. Under the guise of protecting Americans from terrorists, the government has given itself the authority to monitor their every move, private communication and financial transaction. Ridge's agency is taking freedom and replacing it with technotyranny.
Attorney General John Ashcroft: Was an attorney-turned senator from Missouri who has justified the practice of capturing people the Bush administration suspects as having ties to terrorists, throwing them in prison indefinitely without a trial. Such suspects either have no access to legal counsel or have no attorney/client privileged communication. Ashcroft's Department of Justice ignores well-founded reports of cruel and unusual punishment for prisoners, many of whom were sentenced to serve time after federal prosecutors had committed perjury themselves, supplied perjurous witness testimony to the court, falsified documents and violated due process to achieve wrongful convictions for non-violent crimes. While attorney general, Ashcroft has seen the U.S. prison population, which continues to grow at an alarming rate of almost four percent per year, exceed 2,000,000, or one in every 145.
Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson: Formerly the governor of Wisconsin, he backed a plan that would force every man, woman and child in America to be vaccinated against smallpox with an experimental version of a vaccine that has historically been associated with a high percentage of adverse reactions including death. He also supports the adoption of emergency health powers in every state as outlined in the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act drafted under direction of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This act calls for the suspension of all civil liberties during a declared state of medical emergency. Under the act, which is a declaration of medical martial law, property can be taken or destroyed without just compensation, medical procedures can be ordered against one's will and detention or quarantine can be ordered -- all without due process.
The legacy of GW (so far)
The Clinton era, as painful as it was to conservative Americans, laid the groundwork for the present administration. Since taking office, GW has: Spent the most money and created the biggest deficit in U.S. history; set a new record for private bankruptcies; seen the biggest drop in stock market history; commander-in-chiefed the worst security failure in U.S. history (9/11); lost over 2 million jobs in his first two years in office; set a new record for most property foreclosures in a 12-month period; appointed more convicted criminals to his administration than even Bill Clinton; has signed more freedom-eroding executive orders than any president in history -- policies that created the highest gas prices and caused the worst energy crisis in U.S. history; set a record for the most worldwide protest of an American president; been involved in the biggest stock market fraud in world history (Enron); removed more congressional oversight from presidential politics than any president; given us the most secretive presidency in U.S. history; created the most top-heavy bureaucracy in U.S. history; spent more money on the military and weapons of mass destruction than any president in history; became the first president to be viewed by Europeans as the world's greatest threat to peace and stability.
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